View Full Version : Wolfowitz apologises over pay row

Apr 13th, 2007, 03:48 PM
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has apologised for "mistakes" made over the promotion and pay of an ex-colleague with whom he is romantically involved.

Mr Wolfowitz's partner, Shaha Riza, was moved to the State Department when he took the Bank's top job in 2005.

But the bank's staff association says she then received pay rises and promotions which were "grossly out of line" with the Bank's staff rules.

The controversy comes ahead of joint World Bank and IMF spring meetings.

Mr Wolfowitz also said he would accept any remedy that the World Bank's Board proposed.

The bank chief - formerly US deputy secretary of defence - has adopted a fiercely anti-corruption stance.

The latest furore threatens to undermine Mr Wolfowitz's personal campaign to combat corruption and poor governance.


Until now, Mr Wolfowitz has said he took "full responsibility" for the case, but said it was being left to a committee "that is dealing with it and I am comfortable with that".

But on Thursday he said: "I made a mistake, for which I am sorry."

Ms Riza had been a high-ranking communications employee at the bank working in the Middle East section.

When Mr Wolfowitz took over at the Bank in mid-2005, Ms Riza - then a Bank employee for eight years - was transferred to work for the US State Department, to avoid any conflict of interest.

But rapid rises in her tax-free World Bank salary to about $193,000 - more than the $186,000 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice receives before tax - have aroused ire among other Bank employees.

In a memo to its members earlier in April, the World Bank Staff Association said that the speed of both promotions and salary increases were "grossly out of line" with the Bank's rules.

"Senior management has put forward a call for good governance," the memo said. "In order to be credible, senior management must model the behaviour it espouses."


While facing press questions about the case, Mr Wolfowitz has tried to shift focus back to the bank's remit of fighting global poverty.

He said the world's richest nations had given 5% less aid over the past 12 months.

"We have yet to see evidence of significant new flows translate into real resources for development programmes on the ground," he said.

Ministers and trade leaders from the 185-nation organisation are to meet on Saturday and Sunday in Washington.

The agenda will include issues including fighting diseases and the state of the world economy.


Her TAX-FREE salary? Can't we CHARGE these people with something? :help: Wolfowitz should be fired:fiery: A friend of mind thought Bono would be more qualified for this job :lol: At least he wouldn't have paid his wife an obscene salary----he also knows more about third-world debt than Wolfie. :rolleyes:

Apr 13th, 2007, 03:49 PM
World Bank staff: Wolfowitz should quit
World Bank president apologized for conflict of interest in girlfriend's promotion.
April 13 2007: 9:45 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The World Bank's board of directors adjourned a meeting Friday over the promotion by bank President Paul Wolfowitz of his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, saying it would move quickly to decide how to proceed.

In a statement, the board said it found that Wolfowitz signed off on Riza's promotion and salary increase without a review by an ethics committee nor the board's chairman. The promotion came shortly after he joined the institution in 2005.
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz

"The executive directors will move expeditiously to reach a conclusion on possible actions to take," the board said.

"In their consideration of the matter the executive directors will focus on all relevant governance implications for the bank," it added

The board released documents of findings of an ad hoc group that investigated the contract with Riza and also included communications between Wolfowitz, the board and other bank officials.

The review Friday by the board of member countries focused on whether Wolfowitz broke staff rules when he approved Riza's promotion, before she was assigned to the State Department to resolve possible conflict of interest issues arising from his supervision over her work.

Wolfowitz has taken full responsibility for Riza's promotion and apologized on Thursday, saying he made a mistake in the way he handled the issue, but said he was in "uncharted waters" and still new in his job.
Johns Hopkins probes financial aid director

"In hindsight, I wish I had trusted my original instincts and kept myself out of the negotiations. I made a mistake, for which I am sorry," he said.

But the World Bank's employee representative group called for Wolfowitz to resign during a staff meeting at the bank.

"The president must acknowledge that his conduct has compromised the integrity and effectiveness of the World Bank Group and has destroyed the staff's trust in his leadership," according to written remarks presented at the meeting by staff association chair Alison Cave and obtained by Reuters.

"He must act honorably and resign," she said.

Cave said it seemed impossible for the institution, whose mission is to fight global poverty, to move forward "with any sense of purpose under the present leadership."

The board said Wolfowitz had revealed his relationship with Riza while he was negotiating his own job contract and, at the directors' request, sought guidance from the board's ethics committee.

"The guidance given on an informal basis was that the employee should be relocated to a position beyond potential supervising influence," the board said.

Wolfowitz, who was nominated for the bank job in 2005 by President Bush, joined the institution from the Pentagon, where he was one of the architects of Iraq war.

He has faced lingering distrust by many staff members and resentment over his close ties to the Bush administration and his role in the Iraq war that have overshadowed his first two years at the bank.

The bank's staff representative association, which demanded last week that Wolfowitz explain his actions, have called on Wolfowitz to resign, saying it seemed impossible for the institution, whose mission is to fight global poverty, to move forward "with any sense of purpose under the present leadership."


Apr 13th, 2007, 03:54 PM
I hate shit like this! Can't you find a GF who you don't work with, there are 380 million people in your country man - GET A LIFE! He's a disgrace to the name PAUL!